The four winds / Kristin Hannah.
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- ISBN: 9781250317254
- ISBN: 1250317258
- Physical Description: 12 audio discs (approximately 15.05 hr.) ; 4 3/4 in.
- Publisher: [New York] : Macmillan Audio, 2021.
Title from web page.
|Participant or Performer Note:||
Read by Julia Whelan.
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods. The crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli, like so many of her neighbors, must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life.
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|Subject:||Farmers > Texas > Fiction.
Depressions > 1929 > Fiction.
Publishers Weekly Review
The Four Winds : A Novel
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Hannah (The Great Alone) brings Dust Bowl migration to life in this riveting story of love, courage, and sacrifice. In 1934 Texas, after four years of drought, the Martinelli farm is no longer thriving, but Elsa is attached to the land and her in-laws, and she works tirelessly and cares for her children, 12-year-old Loreda and seven-year-old Anthony. Her husband, Rafe, has become distant and something of a hard drinker, and after he abandons them, Elsa reluctantly leaves with her children for California with the promise of steady work. Her dreams of a better future are interrupted by the discrimination they face in the unwelcoming town of Welty, where they are forced to live in a migrant camp and work for extremely low wages picking cotton. When Elsa's meager wages are further reduced and she has the opportunity to join striking workers, she must decide whether to face the dangers of standing up for herself and her fellow workers. Hannah combines gritty realism with emotionally rich characters and lyrical prose that rings brightly and true from the first line ("Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love"). In Elsa, a woman who fiercely defends her principles and those she loves, Hannah brilliantly revives the ghost of Tom Joad. (Feb.)
The Four Winds : A Novel
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
With this emotionally charged epic of Dust Bowl-era Texas and its dramatic aftermath, the prolific Hannah has added another outstanding novel to her popular repertoire. In 1921, Elsa Wolcott is a tall, bookish woman of 25 whose soul is stifled by her superficial parents. By 1934, after marrying Rafe Martinelli, a young Italian Catholic who was the first man to show her affection, Elsa is a mother of two who has found a home on her beloved in-laws' farm. Severe drought and terrible dust storms affect everyone in this proud family, and they are all forced to make tough choices. This wide-ranging saga ticks all the boxes for deeply satisfying historical fiction. Elsa is an achingly real character whose sense of self-worth slowly emerges through trying circumstances, and her shifting relationship with her rebellious daughter, Loreda, is particularly moving. Hannah brings the impact of the environmental devastation on the Great Plains down to a personal level with ample period-appropriate details and reactions, showing how people's love for their land made them reluctant to leave. The storytelling is propulsive, and the contemporary relevance of the novel's themes--among them, how outsiders are unfairly blamed for economic inequalities--provides additional depth in this rich, rewarding read about family ties, perseverance, and women's friendships and fortitude.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hannah is a consistent best-seller, and this sharply relevant tale of a past catastrophic time will exert a particularly strong magnetic force.
Library Journal Review
The Four Winds : A Novel
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The first time Elsa Wolcott Martinelli shows her mettle in desperate circumstances is in 1921, when she is disowned by her wealthy family for thwarting their intentions for her lifelong spinsterhood. By the 1930s, Elsa embraces her life as indefatigable farm wife; bolstered by her immigrant in-laws' affection, she becomes a partner in their effort to keep their Texas Panhandle farm. Driven by combined Dust Bowl scourges--economic depression, drought, and siege-like windstorms--to rescue her children from dust pneumonia and starvation, Elsa flees with them to California. There, amid fierce competition for fruit- and cotton-picking jobs, a new, more insidious peril awaits: now re-cast as migrants and "Okies," they and thousands of other displaced persons represent fair game for employers, officials, and resentful residents to cheat and exploit as disposable labor commodities. Narrator Julia Whelan convincingly portrays Elsa's coming of age from sheltered recluse to workers' rights champion. Indelible Dust Bowl horrors (centipedes streaming from walls, cotton pickers surveilled by gun towers) are appropriately pitched, so readers experience rather than simply hear them. VERDICT With poignant prose documenting historical scenarios but also invoking currently resonant issues--environmental responsibility, immigration and displacement, workers' and women's rights, social ills laid bare by calamity--Hannah's (The Great Alone) absorbing tale will enthrall a wide swath of readers.--Linda Sappenfield, Round Rock P.L., TX